2020 Vintage Mystery Extravaganza

Vintage Mystery Challenge 2020 Original post on MY READER’S BLOCK

Basic Level Commandments/Rules/Common Devices (Gold) – Once a challenger has read the five books for the basic-level challenge, they are welcome to complete any of the bonus levels 

  1. No Chinaman must figure in the story. Murder of Lydia by Joan A. Cowdrey
  2. Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them. The Policeman’s Holiday by Rupert Penny (1937)
  3. There must be but one detective–that is, but one protagonist of deduction–one deus ex machina. The Hanging Captain by Henry Wade
  4. A servant must not be chosen by the author as the culprit. The Billiard Room Mystery by Brian Flynn
  5. A crime in a detective story must never turn out to be an accident or a suicide. The Crooked Hinge by John Dickson Carr (1938) Basic commitment met!

2011 – Take ‘Em to Trial: 16+ Books – challengers must complete the Murderous Mood level of the original challenge with five books

  1. The Case of the Black Twenty-Two by Brian Flynn
  2. Inquest by Henrietta Clandon
  3. Death in Fancy Dress by J. Jefferson Farjeon
  4. The Duke of York’s Steps by Henry Wade
  5. The Man Who Could Not Shudder by John Dickson Carr (1940) Basic commitment met!

2012 – Vintage Themes: Cherchez le Homme: 8 books with male detectives –  challengers must complete at least five books in a chosen theme

  1. The Case of Adam Braid by Molly Thynne (1930)
  2. Dead Man’s Quarry by Ianthe Jerrold (1930)
  3. The Cheltenham Square Murder by John Bude (1937)
  4. The Z Murders by J. Jefferson Farjeon (1932)
  5. Tragedy at Ravensthorpe by J. J. Connington (1927) Basic commitment met!!

2013 – Scattergories – challengers must complete at least five books in five of the categories listed (25 books)

  1. Colorful Crime: The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie (1924)
  2. Murder by the Numbers: Seven Dead by J. Jefferson Farjeon
  3. Amateur Night:
  4. Leave it to the Professionals: Heads You Lose by Christianna Brand [Inspector Cockrill]
  5. Jolly Old England: Death of My Aunt by C. B. H. Kitchin (1929)
  6. Yankee Doodle Dandy: Seven Keys to Baldpate
  7. World Traveler: The Groote Park Murder by Freeman Wills Crofts [South Africa]
  8. Dangerous Beasts: The Penguin Pool Murder by Stuart Palmer (1931)
  9. A Calendar of Crime: Death Knows No Calendar by John Bude (1942)
  10. Wicked Women: Fear and Miss Betony by Dorothy Bowers (1941)
  11. Malicious Men: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie (19
  12. Murderous Methods: A Dying Fall by Henry Wade (1955)
  13. Staging the Crime: Death in White Pyjamas by John Bude (1944)
  14. Scene of the Crime: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery
  15. Cops & Robbers: Poirot Investigates – The Adventure of the Western Star (short story within Poirot Investigates) by Agatha Christie (1925)
  16. Locked Rooms: a locked-room mystery: Case for Three Detectives by Leo Bruce (1936)
  17. Country House Criminals:
  18. Murder on the High Seas: Inspector French and the Sea Mystery by Freeman Wills Crofts (1928)
  19. Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Night Train to Paris by Manning Coles (1952)
  20. Murder is Academic: Miss Hogg and the Bronte Murders by Austin Lee (19 [Cambridge University/Retired Schoolmistress]
  21. Things That Go Bump in the Night: The Ghost it Was by Richard Hull (1950)
  22. Repeat Offenders: The Case of the Constant Suicides by John Dickson Carr (1941) Favorite Author
  23. The Butler Did It…Or Not: Why Shoot a Butler by Georgette Heyer (1933)
  24. A Mystery by any other name: Murder at Beechlands by Maureen Sarsfield (1948) [A Party for Lawty (in America) and A Dinner for None (in Britain)]
  25. Dynamic Duos: Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr (1944) Dr. Gideon Fell & Superintendent Hadley
  26. Size Matters: a book with a size or measurement in the title Half-Mast Murder by Milward Kennedy (1930)
  27. Psychic Phenomena: a mystery featuring a seance, medium, hypnotism, or other psychic or “supernatural” characters/events
  28. Book to Movie: one vintage mystery that has appeared on screen (feature film or TV movie).
  29. The Old Bailey: Death Turns the Tables by John Dickson Carr (1941)
  30. Serial Killers: Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (1920) [18 part serialization in the Times Weekly Edition from February to June 1920]
  31. Killed in Translation: A Wreath for the Bride by Maria Lang (1957) Published as Kung liljekonvalje av dungen [Sweden]
  32. Blondes in Danger: A variation on “Colorful Crime”. Books that feature a blonde in the title role, like The Blonde Died First, or Blonde for Danger.
  33. International Detectives. A variation on “World Traveler” but instead of the crime being set in another country, the detective is not from the US or UK. This may include Hercule Poirot as well as such notables as Judge Dee
  34. Somebody Else’s Crime: Death in Kenya by M. M. Kaye (1958) Also read by Bev @ My Reader’s Block
  35. Genuine Fakes: Death Walks the Woods by Cyril Hare [Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark] (1954)
  36. Hobbies Can Be Murder: Mr. Pottermack’s Oversight [Lepidopterist]
  37. Get Out of Jail Free: This is a freebie category. One per customer. You tell me what special category the book fits (“It’s got an awesome cover!”…”First book I grabbed off my shelf”) and it counts. Only thing I won’t take is “It’s a Vintage Mystery!”–that’s a given. 🙂

2014 – Bingo – challengers must complete one valid Bingo (6 books)

2015 – Bingo – challengers must complete one valid Bingo (6 books)

2016 – Scavenger Hunt – challengers must find five of the required items on book covers

  1. A country scene – The Ponson Case by Freeman Wills Crofts (1921)
  2. A dead body – The Problem of the Wire Cage by John Dickson Carr (1939)
  3. Car/Truck – The Shakespeare Murders by A. G. MacDonell (1929)
  4. Fishing Gear – Bleeding Hooks by Harriet Rutland
  5. Chandelier/Candle/etc – Death Stops the Frolic by George Bellairs (1943) Basic commitment met!!

2017 – Scavenger Hunt – challengers must find five of the required items on book covers

  1. “Damsel in Distress” – Answer in the Negative by Henrietta Hamilton (1959)
  2. Cat – Who Killed Dick Whittington by E. & M. A. Redford (1947)
  3. Dead Body – Dead Man’s Music by Christopher Bush (1931)
  4. A Blond (woman or man) – The Eel Pie Murders by David Frome (1933)
  5. Typewriter – The Middle of Things by J. S. Fletcher (1922) Basic commitment met!!

2018 – Just the Facts, Ma’am – Chief Constable: 48 books – challengers must complete one book for each notebook item (6 total)

  1. In the Medical Field: Keep It Quiet by Richard Hull (1935)
  1. Pseudonymous author: Roger Sherington and the Vane Case by Anthony Berkeley (1927)
  1. At a Country House: Death Makes a Prophet by John Bude (1947)
  1. During a Weather Event: Dancing Death by Christopher Bush (1931)
  1. Author new to me: Death Walks in Eastrepps by Francis Beeding (1931)
  1. Death by Strangulation: Crime in Kensington by Christopher St. John Sprigg (1933) Basic commitment met!!

2019 – Just the Facts, Ma’am – Chief Constable: 48 books – challengers must complete one book for each notebook item (6 total)

  1. Professional is main sleuth: Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs (1942)
  1. Color in the title: The Problem of the Green Capsule by John Dickson Carr (1939)
  1. At theater/circus/other place of performance: When the Wind Blows by Cyril Hare (1949)
  1. During trip/vacation: Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie (1941)
  1. Author NOT from your country: Death in Fancy Dress by Anthony Gilbert (1933)
  1. Unusual murder method: Murder in the Maze by JJ Connington (1927) Basic commitment met!!

Featured image from Argosy All-Story Weekly, 1920-04-17. Artist Unknown. Obtained from https://archive.org/details/AllStory19200417 (Public domain)